Thought I would share this bit of information about places to stay in Mulu and Miri as when I tried to book dorm beds at the Park HQ in Gunung Mulu for our recent visit and found them full, I had difficulty finding much information about equally cheap alternatives.
Mulu Gunung National Park
Firstly, after having a nose around the dormitory accommodation at the park HQ I would still recommend this as a first choice if it were available, although there's not a massive amount in it in terms of what's on offer. I believe they provide towels and have hot water showers (which the option below doesn't) which isn't necessarily a deal breaker in the rain forest I know! A dorm bed here is RM40 per night which is 5 less than the alternative but bear in mind that if you are staying outside the park you are supposed to pay the RM10 entrance fee every day you enter the park whereas if you're staying at Park HQ it's a one time payment only. If you're doing any of the walking trails independently you can get away without having a ticket but if you're booking cave visits or other activities on different days the office will charge you for each day. The park's website has prices and booking info as well as a lot of information on the park and its activities. www.mulupark.com
Anyway, back to the alternative.....
Mulu River Lodge
This longhouse style dorm is literally 2 minutes walk from the park entrance so has a very convenient location. There are about 40 beds with attached cold water bathrooms in the large fan cooled longhouse which backs on to the river (which you can swim in although the current was VERY strong so be very careful). Dorm beds are RM35 including a cooked breakfast; they also have a couple of private rooms in the main house (1 with 2 beds and 1 with 4 beds sharing the bathrooms in the longhouse dorm) and they also charge RM35 a bed for these. The attached restaurant serves OK food but with a limited menu so we ate at the restaurant at park HQ mostly (there was another restaurant being built right outside the park entrance so that will give another option). Food isn't cheap by Malaysian standards but not as extortionate as I was expecting, and the choice and standards pretty good considering the remoteness (Baku National Park could learn a lot!).
Contact details are 012 850 4431 or 012 871 7934. They don't take reservations by email so you could either text or phone once in Malaysia or take a chance - they weren't ever completely full whilst we were there. Or see below info on booking via a Kuching guesthouse.
As a slight aside, if you are looking for something more upmarket my first choice would be the bungalows at Park HQ which looked very nice. There is also the well-publicised Royal Mulu Resort (expensive and large) and I have heard that Matumau Lodge is supposed to be very good - smaller than the resort and therefore more character, personalised service etc. The info I was given is as follows: 2 minutes walk from the airport terminal. 6 rooms in total (twin-sharing). Twin-sharing at RM350 per room per night, single room at RM260 per room per night and extra-bed at RM100 per person per night (all inclusive of breakfast and dinner).
The disadvantage of these two options is that you need to take transport to and from the park, although the hotels do provide it. I just found it very convenient to be able to wander into the Park HQ for information, the restaurant, internet and short walks when I pleased.
In Miri we stayed at Dillenia Guesthouse which was clean, comfortable and friendly with a homely atmosphere. Published rate is RM 30-110 (from a dorm to a "honeymoon room") including self service breakfast (we paid RM80 for a twin with shared bathroom). They also have free wifi and 2 computers for shared use.
Mrs Lee who runs it was extremely efficient in responding to my emails and she also booked the Mulu River Lodge in advance for us as they don't accept email bookings. She can also arrange a taxi pick up which slightly undercuts the airport taxis. Contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +6085 434204 or +6012 8755807.